At issue in people's 'pain' of 'structural reform' -- Upper House election

The problem of 'people's pain' as a result of the Koizumi cabinet's 'structural reform' has surfaced as one of the focal issues in the ongoing House of Councilors election.

Mass media covering the election campaign are beginning to focus on the issue of the people's 'pain.' Asahi Shimbun on July 13 reported with the headline, "At issue is the 'pain' of Koizumi reform."

At a news conference on July 13 in Sapporo City, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo insisted that respective parties must severely examine their own attitudes to this issue.

Shii warned that the burden of Koizumi's "reform" is too severe for the people to endure. He said such burdens are not the guarantee for economic recovery, and that asking the people to endure such "pain" will be helping major banks and general construction contractor companies is inexcusable.

Commenting on the Komei Party's recent statement that it will "not urge the people to accept pain, and pursue a reform kind to the people," Shii said that it is quite strange for a party supporting Koizumi's 'reform' within the coalition government to say so.

Hatoyama Yukio, Democratic Party leader, recently criticized the government for putting the people at risk while supporting the banks and major construction companies to cut their bad loans.

Shii said, "If the DPJ really thinks so, the party should retract its own steps of supporting the 70 trillion yen framework to help major banks with taxpayers money, and assisting Koizumi's plan to 'dispose of bad loans.'

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